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WHAT LAW OF AVERAGES?


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – An early advantage and a stirring comeback by the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday couldn’t prevent the Toronto Marlies from adding to their near-perfect record with a 5-4 win at Van Andel Arena.

Grand Rapids rallied from a 5-1 deficit with three goals in the final 11 minutes, but the ultimate result maintained a pair of head-scratching streaks. The Griffins fell to 0-5 at home this season while the Marlies improved their impressive overall mark to 9-0-0-2.

Grand Rapids (5-6-0-1) will attempt to capture that elusive first home-ice victory and snap a five-game winless streak (0-4-0-1) on Tuesday during its annual matinee game at Van Andel Arena. Faceoff against the Quad City Flames is set for noon.

The Griffins struck first on their power play 8:01 into the opening period. Taking a pass from Mark Hartigan out of the left corner, Jakub Kindl fired a slap shot from the point that was deflected by Carl Corazzini past Scott Clemmensen. Just over five minutes later, however, that 1-0 lead would become a 2-1 deficit.

Shortly after Griffins leading scorer Mark Cullen was given a major penalty and game misconduct for spearing, the Marlies converted 4-on-4 when Robbie Earl redirected a Darryl Boyce centering feed from the slot at the 11:48 mark. Toronto nosed ahead during its subsequent power play at 13:25, as John Mitchell scored while Jimmy Howard was enveloped in a rugby scrum.

The Marlies connected for their second 4-on-4 goal of the contest to take a 3-1 lead with 11:52 remaining in the middle period, with Kris Newbury sneaking a harmless-looking wrist shot past Howard from the top of the left circle.

Grand Rapids’ uphill climb became even steeper early in the third period, as goals by Simon Gamache at 3:05 and Ben Ondrus at 6:35 put the Griffins into a 5-1 hole. Ryan Oulahen got one of those back at the 9:37 mark, skating out from the right corner and slipping the puck beneath Clemmensen from close range, then Johan Ryno ripped a shot top-shelf from between the hashmarks with 4:35 left to pull the Griffins back to within two.

After Garrett Stafford scored from the left of the net with exactly 60 seconds remaining, the Griffins pulled Howard for most of the final minute but could not solve Clemmensen a fifth time. Martin Brodeur’s former understudy stopped 36 of Grand Rapids’ 40 shots on the night, while Howard sustained the loss with 21 saves.

Griffins Game Rewind
Video Highlights
WOOD Radio Highlights: 1 2
Post-Game Sound Bites: 1 2
Photo Gallery
Official Game Report

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